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Hundreds of Refugees Feared to Be Victims of US Coalition's Strikes Near Raqqa

© REUTERS / Senior Airman Matthew BruchUS Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles are designed to conduct airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles are designed to conduct airstrikes in Syria and Iraq - Sputnik International
Hundreds of people could have fallen victim to the US-led coalition's airstrike on a school near Raqqa, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported.

Earlier in the day, an informed source cited by the SANA news agency said the likely US-led coalition raid struck a school south of the town of Mansour, nearly 19 miles west of Raqqa. Unverified reports estimated up to 33 people may have been killed in the strike.

According to Anadolu citing sources, refugees have been inside the school. The agency said that the strike was carried out in the early hours of March 20.

"Members of 50 families who had escaped from the regions of Hama, Homs and Raqqa have been bombed. As a result, hundreds of people, including women and children were killed," Anadolu reported citing local sources.

The agency added that the area of the school is not controlled by Daesh terrorists, however, terrorists control locations nearby.

Informed sources told Syrian media earlier in the day that the school, which served as a shelter for 50 refugee families, was completely destroyed.

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The news agency also reported about an airstrike on the Tabqa region in the western part of Raqqa, killing at least 40.

On Monday, US Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said that the US Central Command was assessing the credibility of civilian casualties reports that appeared after a Thursday US counterterrorism strike in al-Jinah in Syria's Aleppo, which hit a mosque.

On Friday, Davis said that the strike targeted an adjacent building. Davis also said that Pentagon was not "aware of any credible allegation of civilian casualties." The strike killed 42 people, most of them civilians, as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Thursday.

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On March 4, a monthly report by the Combined Joint Task Force said that "at least 220 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition's strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve" and expressed regret over this loss of lives.

Raqqa, the so-called "capital" of Daesh, is located in the north of Syria (160 km east of Aleppo) on the bank of the Euphrates River. Some 300 thousand people live there. The city was captured by Daesh in 2013. After Raqqa's fall, the Syrian army has repeatedly tried to gain control of the city, but didn't succeed. In 2014, the Syrian army lost control of the entire province of Raqqa.

According to various assessments, from three to four thousand Daesh terrorists can be based in the city of Raqqa.

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